HUNTING — An Asotin County ranch purchased by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife last winter is open to public walk-in access this year with the exception of some big-game hunters.
Deer and elk hunters are allowed on the newly-acquired addition to the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area only if they drew “4-0 Ranch” special hunting permit, officials said this week.
“The restriction is an effort to provide high-quality hunting opportunities and was something the rancher wanted as a condition for sale of the property,” said Madonna Luers, agency spokeswoman.
The 2,180-acre 4-0 Ranch parcel – the first of a multi-phase, multi-year public land acquisition project – was purchased in January with the approval of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The ranch is within Game Management Unit 172 (Mountain View). But neither GMU 172 permit holders nor general season deer and elk hunters are allowed to hunt the parcel this year.
Read on for more details.
“Small game, turkey, cougar and bear hunting opportunity, plus fishing and wildlife viewing, is available on our 4-0 Ranch segment,” said Kevin Robinette, department regional wildlife manager.
“But the only deer or elk hunters allowed this year will be those who drew special permits for the 4-0.”
The previous landowner and the department want to maintain the high quality hunting opportunity that has existed for decades on the property, he said.
The 4-0 Ranch parcel of the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area lies along two miles of the Grande Ronde River and north along Cougar Creek. Many of the new property lines have been identified with “Wildlife Area” signs.
When other phases of the acquisition project are complete over the next several years, a total of nearly 12,000 acres of the 4-O Ranch will be added to the wildlife area, which currently includes 14,055 acres.